A postage stamp & a wooden spoon...

Dec 17, 2011

Image of wee old gowth jam spoon
Image of arbutus salt bowl 3
Image of yew rustic board
Image of yew serving spoon 2
All images via Herriott Grace

This very special Father & Daughter story made me smile. It is the story of Herriott Grace of  fortysixthatgrace which I have been adoring for some time now.
The story: 3400 kilometers apart, Father in British Columbia, and daughter in Toronto, a postage stamp and a small package containing a hand carved wooden spoon. The start of something special. In the packages to follow were a collection of hand carved spoons made from carefully selected and sentimental wood of various origin and age. When Nikole realised that she might not be the only one to love and appreciate her Fathers special talent, Herriott Grace was born.
The shop: after 3 years their small shop expanded and together they range the most gorgeous collection of hand carved and hand turned wooden objects, spoons, bowls, chopping boards and serving plates online"None are exactly the same, and thus none are perfect". 
The blog: lucky for us in Australia we now have the beautiful fortysixthatgrace blog to savour and appreciate these beautiful pieces and truly stunning food styling and photography from Nikole Herriott. You can read the entire Herriott Grace story on the fabulous new look blog
My story: when I read this story it brought back lovely memories of my weekends away with my Dad and family friends. We all camped in wooden cabins in the pine forests of Oberon (NSW) running around collecting snow and toasting marshmallows by the fire. By night we would all walk under the stars with our torches to see if we could spot any wombats. By day we would collect wood and look for frozen ponds. Dad often made small hand carved and polished wombats and wooden bowls and plates that are now carefully placed around my parents home for my own little boys to admire. 
I hope you enjoy these beautiful objects and styling as much as me

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A New Chapter for the Old Library

Dec 15, 2011

All images provided by Mario The Old Library. The image of the book art is via
Image via 19 Karen

As a Cronulla local for many years, and someone who loves good food and beautiful surroundings, I have been dreaming of the day we would have a fabulous restaurant and bar locally. The Old Library could very well be the answer!  "Cronulla has never seen the likes of this before,” says restaurateur Mario Kalpou of his freshly opened restaurant and bar, The Old Library. There is definitely a buzz surrounding this brand new restaurant, and both locals and Sydneysiders alike have been flocking to check it out. 

For the past two years The Old Library has been the labour of love for Mario Kalpou, who has overseen the finest detail through to the big picture of this million-dollar ‘baby’.  In the refurbishment of the 1908 building – originally a church and converted to a library in the 1970s – Kalpou worked with acclaimed, award winning interior designers Hecker Guthrie (designed the stunning Ivy, The Millswyn, Grace, The Public Dining Room). 

What I love about this place is that Hecker Guthrie, the collective talent of Paul Hecker and Hamish Guthrie, has designed the space with consideration of the seaside location and the original library architecture in mind. Add the magic touch of acclaimed stylist Sibella Court (of The Society Inc, featured many times on eat read love), and you have a gorgeous, relaxing and contemporary space to enjoy delicious Italian food with your friends and loved ones.

So many design elements to love - the white vaulted timber-lined ceiling, luxe linen lounges, cosy fireplace alcoves, industrial lighting, the Billiani ‘Aloe’ chairs, and custom made American Oak tables. Oh and I cannot ignore the uncanny connection between my passion for books and food, the essence of eat read love, and the wonderful book themed extras. The walls are cleverly designed with bookshelf paintings by Sydney artist Hugh Ford!

"It was also vital to incorporate a library theme without being clichéd. This has been achieved with clever, witty touches such as the bookshelf paintings, and in the menu where the courses are renamed with bookish twists such as ‘foreword’ for entrée, and the bar menu presented in chapters 1 to 5". Says Kalpou 

Kalpou has brought in celebrity chef Danny Russo, a multi ‘hat’ awardee in the prestigious Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide Awards, and his long-time culinary partner, chef David McGill. Together they create traditional Italian dishes in a modern style. 

Dining at The Old Library last Saturday, with fellow design lover Mel from The Source, certainly lived up to my expectations. Danny Russo greeted us as we left to ask 'did we enjoy' to which we replied a definite YES. I cannot wait to go back and try some of the signature dishes including the roast figs with prosciutto, goats cheese and truffle honey and the almond milk panna cotta with lavender, strawberries and meringue sounds dreamy! 

I must not forget to mention the extensive Italian wine list by renowned Sydney sommelier Nick Caraturo. The bar is a destination in its own right, a great place to meet friends for a cocktail or wine with a casual Old Library social plate. 

Fabulous eats, a touch of history and quirkiness in the 'library' theme, and a dash of Sibella style at my local. Oh and not to forget the gorgeous new Charbella Homewares next door. Happy days in my home town ! Natalie x

To make a booking please find all the details here and don't forget to mention that you heard about it on eat read love!

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Colours of the Season

Dec 11, 2011

All photos by Natalie Hayllar {eat read love}

Christmas is almost here. Beautiful bright bold hues, rustic doors, silver & gold, orange, green, tangerine and pink - the perfect colours to welcome in the fabulous festive season. I am loving all of these beautiful splashes of colour against simple natural and neutral backgrounds. The orange chair is divine - would look perfect in an all-white room with a dash of blue. 

All homewares, Christmas decor & gifts are now available from the stunning new Charbella Homewares just opened in the new 'old library' building, Shop 2/15 Surf Rd Cronulla. For more inspiration pop in next door to the 'old library' - lovely new restaurant, styled by Sibella Court and open for lunch, dinner and drinks. It is so exciting to have so much new 'eat read love' inspiration so close to home! 

More on the Old Library coming soon on the blog. Please join me on facebook for daily updates.

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Cup & Cake

Dec 7, 2011

Photos by Natalie Hayllar {eat read love}

I stumbled upon the extremely cute Cup & Cake last week when I stepped out for a quick coffee break. Tucked away in the stylish little 'Cupcake Lane' in the heart of Queenstown, all of the cupcakes, made with local ingredients, are 'baked with love' and you can tell! The Cup & Cake shop window is filled with luscious iced cupcakes, and inside is fitted out with the cutest designs, green spotty umbrellas, circa 1960's vinyl chairs and vases of red pretty I had to take some photos! Possibly one of the cutest and most original cupcake shops and cafes I have seen. 

With only a very limited time to explore this lovely town, one thing is for sure - Queenstown is stunning! With the lakeside location, mountain backdrop and fabulous food and wine venues, I have already started planning my next winter holiday back to NZ. 

Stay tuned for more fabulous NZ foodies finds this month on the blog.


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Trending Gold

Dec 4, 2011

Laduree Gold Macarons via Princess Queen

via trendir

cake via call-me-cupcake and Gustav Klimt
Gold, gold everywhere. I have always loved a little gold! elledecor is hot for gorgeous gold right now. These gold teapots, and gold tree stump side tables are both very cute! The gold macarons from Laduree are seriously divine. You could add a little splash of gold to your home with a gilded mirror or this fabulous gold chair as seen on trendir. call-me-cupcake knows how to do a good gold cake. A Gustav Klimt gold print always a favourite, and this gold iced cake would be stunning for a special event. Christmas is just around the corner. Why not add a bit of 'bling' and give your room or table a little extra sparkle. 


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Rustic French + Natural

Nov 27, 2011

As seen on frenchbydesign via Architectural Digest. 

It has been a very quite and serene Sunday, just what was needed after a few very busy weekends. These images reflect the perfectly calm and relaxed mood I am in now after some much needed rest. Better catch it while it lasts....

Image 1: Totally in love with this bath and entire bathroom! It is simply too beautiful for words! Divine combination of natural earthy tones with a dash of French. My perfect mix. I found this on frenchbydesign one of my fav blogs. Image 2: I also love the exposed painted brick in this gorgeous room by Debi Treolar - I have featured Debi's work many times on the blog, I find her images and styling so unique and stunning. I think a rough rustic wall or piece of furniture always looks perfect next to something a little glamorous like a chandelier. Image 3: another whimsical beauty from Debi Treolar. 

Hope you enjoy this little piece of Sunday afternoon vintage pretty.

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Seaside Style

Nov 24, 2011

All photographs taken by Natalie Hayllar {eat read love} at Bannisters Point Lodge.

seaside dining. relaxing poolside. pampering. breathtaking view. stylish interiors. blue & orange. sunflowers. campari. horizon pool. prawn pizzas. french martinis. whale watching. beautiful memories. gorgeous wedding.

Feeling refreshed and calm after a beautiful long weekend away at my favourite seaside destination, Bannister's Point Lodge, Mollymook. I was married here a while ago, and last weekend I was lucky enough to return to attend the wedding of two very special friends...

Bannister's is the perfect place to indulge in a little eating, reading and loving...

eat: Rick Stein for fresh and delicious seafood dining, or for a more relaxed option the pizza and cocktail lounge does a great pesto & prawn pizza! 

read: poolside relax with Belinda Alexandra's new book, Golden Earrings. You know that I absolutely love her books and can't wait to get stuck into this one. The relaxed little library area just near the restaurant, perfect for chilling out with a coffee and scanning the lovely book collection.

love: relaxed seaside style at its best. The pool bar is decked out in neutral tones and soft furnishings, wood and cane, with the stunning horizon pool and ocean backdrop. It really is a breathtaking view. If you are fortunate you may get to experience a little poolside entertainment - we were spoilt by a fabulous 'whale show', two very playful whales just out the front seemed to be waving at us while we sipped on cocktails. Loved the post wedding celebrations in 'The Pinnacle' - the uber stylish and most luxurious room Bannister's has to offer. It was sensational! Decked out in beautiful furnishings, 2 large bedrooms, huge sunken lounge, spa, sauna and everything else you could possibly need with a touch of 'Hollywood Hills' glamour.  With a rather hefty price tag, you might want to share it with friends, but it would definitely be worth it for a special occasion.

I am so excited to share our very first wedding on the blog. coming soon.


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Jaipur Dreaming

Nov 13, 2011

Photos by Natalie Hayllar. Styling by Lisa Madigan.

India is a destination that has always intrigued me, but I must admit has never been at the top of my 'must travel' list. That was before I met Fiona Caufield, acclaimed travel writer and author of Love Travel Guides, handbooks for luxury vagabonds. My brand new signed copy of  'Love Jaipur, Rajasthan' now holds pride of place on top of my favourite book stack, reminding me of the future trip that I will one day take to India... 

Following the bright pink and orange rose petals up the stairs into the ever-beautiful fresh white Lisa Madigan store & gallery, I was lucky enough to spend a whimsical afternoon sipping iced tea and listening to passionate Indian travel tales. From Goa to Jaipur, Mumbai to Delhi, Fiona shared some beautiful anecdotes of her favourite and exotic cities and hidden gems. With tips on where to buy the best fabrics and luxury handmade home-wares, hidden Portugese palaces for afternoon tea, luxury massages in Goa and special yoga retreats, it was hard not to be whisked away. I now know that the best way to see the Taj Mahal for the first time is under the moonlight from a very special vantage point across the river, and that some Elephants have their own public holidays! 

For anyone planning a trip, The Love Travel Guides will introduce you to the most authentic experiences, written with the sole purpose of helping you fall in love with India. Only the most carefully selected places are included in the books, and the selection criteria is simple - if the place helps you fall in love with the city then it is in. If not, it is out. After two years of research for each guide, you can rest assured that the places listed in the books are not to be missed. And for any first timers to India some great advice "choose a few places and do them well, do not try to see it all in one trip", says Fiona.

"I believe falling in love with a city is just as exciting as falling in love with a person. Your senses become engaged and you simply feel more alive"...Fiona Caufield

It was an absolutely perfect afternoon in Berry, surrounded by the beautiful Lisa Madigan originals and the dreamy silk installation from Kate Armstrong floating in the breeze behind us. I walked away feeling inspired, excited, and with a serious case of the travel bug.

For more information go to &

All of the love travel guides are handmade from natural Eco-friendly fabrics and beautifully presented. An ideal gift for any fellow travel lovers. 

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